PHOTOS // Daedelus, Tokimonsta & Thriftworks @ Summit Music Hall :: Denver, CO :: 5/12/12

Daedelus‘ show at Summit Music Hall was one of high anticipation.  Memories of last summer’s Cervantes show were still fresh, where musical warlock Alfred Darlington presented an insane amount of stage presence and one of the most innovative light displays I have ever seen.

He brought with him a crew of expert Californian producers and turned Summit Music Hall into the place to be for knowledgable bassheads.  Tokimonsta is a Ninja Tune friend and was present for the last tour, but Thriftworks brought just the right proportion of hippie bass to the night to round off what proved to be an absolutely stellar lineup.

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Thriftworks (Jake Atlas) initiated a bass trance that had the ample crowd swaying and shifting through the more mystic side of bass music.  We are huge fans of his sound (absolutely recommend you grab a free copy of Rainmaker from his Bandcamp), but it was impressive to see how low-key he could go without disengaging from the audience.  Just when we didn’t think it could get any more mellow and head-spacey, he wrapped it all up by dropping a beautifully sad track down another 30bpm and cracked us up by saying something along the lines of “Shed a tear over this one.”

Tokimonsta (Jennifer Lee) had somewhat of the opposite approach.  Don’t let her beautiful but down-tempo style fool you: she is an adorable girl who takes you by surprise with aggressively heavy sets.  We were glad to see that one of our favorites came out: “Park Walks,” an absurdly funky track that requires a slow groove to be effective, but it never fails to impress when an artist notches up their energy to meet the demand of the dance floor.

Speaking of which, Daedelus (Alfred Darlington) is a sight to behold.  He dresses like he’s the Willy Wonka of bass music (and, in a sense, they both bring a similar attention to their craft).  But he’s also a pioneer of using a Monome to control his sets and keeps the moving lights on those buttons going exactly as needed.  By their nature, laptoppers and DJs are more like conductors than they are like actual musicians, and the Monome is one of the most sophisticated batons there is.

Alfred doesn’t just conduct this heavy orchestra with the Monome, he exorcises demons out of it.  The Daedelus catalog largely goes for an experimentally chill sound, but that couldn’t be a further comparison to the way he blasted through his set.  His characteristically stiff posture makes the music seem that much more reckless.

It’s hard to remember the set as anything but a blitzkrieg of sound, but the most memorable moment of the night happened when he requested in the midst of all this chaos that the house lights go all the way down to make the dance floor a little more romantic for “Fair Weather Friends.”  That’s a frustrating thing to deal with as a photographer, but it was an excuse to put the camera down for the night and just enjoy the vibes.


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